tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 26, 2014 7:47pm-8:01pm EDT
there are really cool pictures in the book that i also found in the archives. one of them you see him flat on his back three there's a bar because it's a lift himself up by tabarre the bari. finally the kennedy family doctor who had treated president kennedy for his back comments to delano to try to help. she watches him walk and she sees right away that he is crooked. he has this extreme case of asymmetry. she she tells him this and he so relieved because it's a simple solution. you just to even out your shoe. she also tells him he has it been as to my leo fletch because his second toe is longer. the reason we know all of this is because he taped it. the fact to me that here's a man who was flat on his back in tremendous pain and has the presence of mind in terms of preserving history, his own history to turn on the tape recorder and 40 years later i'm sitting in the library listening
to this tape. so that was for me sums up a lot of the remarkable speaking about the man in writing the book. >> did you research the role that san antonio played in the united farmworkers movement? >> i did interview the head of the texas farmworkers and there were some information about him in the book. i do deal in the book with the degree to which arizona and texas independent organizations formed and try to function. chavez basically undercut them in a lot of ways by making sure they didn't get funding so there is a battle, there's a turf battle because he wanted to be the sole voice for farmworkers. ultimately the idea was that it would be national union. that was the goal but they could never effectively run california
well enough to expand. and then the efforts in texas and arizona. >> the texas farmworkers had a hunger strike at the capital in 1978 and they also had a march to washington which i believe you are familiar with. at the time i remember speaking to antonio and he said they wanted to represent all farmworkers both u.s. citizens and mexican workers and caesar did not want that. he only wanted u.s. american farmworkers to be represented. >> that was a good philosophical difference between the two groups. >> excuse me. my question has to do with unions. the taft hartley act in the late
40s really was a very poor act because when you strike an alternative is for managers to come in to do the job. i'm wondering whether that was evident after striking and before they strategize to do the boycott or is it more complicated than that? >> the farmworkers were excluded from the national labor relations board and because they were excluded they were able to do secondary boycotts of something turned out to be something of a benefit for the boycott. that's a complicated story. >> is a nurse i a nurse on manchester than pesticides and these farmworkers the close proximity they were to the crops
i consider cesar chavez the pioneer in organics. my kids didn't eat grapes. >> it's part of his visionary -- before people are talking about organic food he was doing his own compostincompostin g. he did use pesticides, the fight against pesticides both out of conviction and as a tactic and i think we are done. >> we are done. i would like to ask one more question of miriam. what is chavez' legacy? >> his legacy is not in the field that his legacy as a generation of activists who learn from him and have taken that knowledge and gone elsewhere and for the farmer or so were empowered that was also a tremendous experience. as a hero for latinos throughout the country i think all of that is an important legacy. >> thank you very much.
[applause] [inaudible conversations] >> i brought some books that i've recently read that i thought people might really like the first one is by scott berg called wilson. it is a new biography of woodrow wilson and actually a favorable and thoughtful volume. scott herb took 13 years of meticulous scholarship to write this book and it shows.
it's one of the most thoughtful balanced biographies of this very complex figure and progressive figure in american history who had his own contradictions. but i think it gives you some really new insights in depreciation for woodrow wilson, a very pivotal figure in presidentpresident ial history in a obsolete recommendrecommend ed. one of the best biographies i have read in along time. in other book is by a professor at the university of virginia and a former neighbor of mine a wonderful scholar named elizabeth merrick. she wrote a book called appomattox and in the book she talks about how much of a problem that flowed in reconstruction and subsequently the reinstitution of jim crow and segregation in the south float and a sense from a perception of all is forgiven from appomattox. certainly robert e. lee took
advantage of that when he was actually indicted for crimes and got granta say hey at appomattox the implication is i wouldn't be indicted. so it's really a thoughtful reappraisal of american post-civil war history and the meaning of appomattox. very thought-provoking and full of scholarship and research and i highly recommend it. chris matthews has written a book that i really liked a lot and i thought was very well done. it's called to defend the gipper. the story is the relationship of the then speaker tip o'neill democrat and president ronald reagan republican. it's the story of a timed it seems long ago unfortunately in which republicans and democrats actually could come together and make a difference in the country. i think everybody who works here on capitol hill are to read this book and take it to heart. a lot got done because of that relationship. they did now is love each other
but they were willing to reach across the aisle and get things done. a wonderful book with a history here in congress on the adoption of the civil rights act of 1964 as we are coming up on the 50th anniversary written by todd purdum and it's called an idea whose time has come. if you really like the ins and outs of how legislation happens this is almost an hour-by-hour recount of what was going on in hooted what and again it makes one a little bit sad. in those days republicans were at the very forefront of attacking civil rights in america and head of what to do with the passage of the 1964 civil rights act. unfortunately lots of those kinds republicans aren't here anymore. it's a wonderful book and very thoroughly researched. the sleepwalkers by christopher clark is pre-world war i. a period of time starting -- from 1872 the opening of world
war i in 1914. in many ways it contradicts the wonderful book the guns of august that somehow you have stumbled into world war i and it was an accident waiting to happen. this book says not so much. this book says they were planning and there were many wars and many complex that were seated 1914 that absolutely were a prelude and inevitable prelude to war and the powers that lined up against each other were in fact not stumbling into something. they actually had alliances and designs and it was a, iv. not that they wanted the cataclysmic kind of war that was occurring but the idea that there would be -- germany austria and hungary russia europe and france was not a novel or unexpected thing. it's really quite well done and a lot of history on the importance of the balkans to
what happened not just in sarajevo and the assassination of ferdinand but lots of wars for bosnians independence and the ottoman empire during that time. mad. the final book is george kearns goodwin brilliant book called the bully pulpit. it's essentially the relationship between theodore roosevelt and william howard taft his successor. how two different men with two different styles had a deep and profound friendship and teddy could think of no one else to succeed him but william howard taft. the tragic unfolding of that relationship once taft became president and how it never quite got repaired. you really kind of appreciate william howard taft more than maybe we think of in our understanding of history but it's another brilliant effort by doris kearns goodwin about the
linking cabinet really bringing alive this period of history and by the way it eerily reflects our modern politics. so much of what you read here of what was happening in was happening and that time period in american history so many years ago actually purely because what we are doing today today in our politics and the media and in the relationship between the executive and the congressional branch. a great read and absolutely a must read for the summer. that's my list for now. >> tell me about your reading habits. >> i read a book a week. a steady diet of history and biography or public policy and for escapism i read mystery novels. i tend when i read mysteries i do serial mystery reading so in other words i will find an author i like and read everything he or she has written and then move on to the next author.
that is sort of my relaxing reading that i just love history and i think it's so important for those of us in the public light to read history and to understand it because i think it has a lot of relevance to our sense of public policy and putting things in historical context. >> thanks so much. >> my pleasure. ..